Monday, July 4, 2011

Pound of Chocolate Cake

Pound of Chocolate Cake

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Place 13 oz of plain semisweet chocolate, 3 oz of unsweetened chopped chocolate, 3/4 c butter and 1 tsp instant coffee dissolved in 1 tbsp water into a saucepan.  Stir constantly over low heat until the chocolate and butter is dissolved and melted.

In a large bowl beat together 4 eggs, 1 1/2 c sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 tsp vanilla.  On low speed, mix in the melted chocolate mixture until well blended.  Mix in 1 c flour just until the white disappears from the batter.

Prepare a 8x8 pan and pour the batter into the pan to bake for 50-60 minutes.  The cake will look shiny and firm.  Cool the cake for 1 hour on a wire cooling rack.

When completely cooled, make your chocolate glaze.

In a medium saucepan heat 1 c milk, 2 tbsp butter and 3 tbsp light corn syrup until the milk is hot and butter is melted.

Before the mixture begins to boil, remove from the heat and stir in 1 1/2 c chocolate chips.  Add 1/2 tsp of vanilla and allow all the ingredients to smooth and mix together.  Let the sauce sit for a few moments to thicken.  Once thickened, pour over the top of the cake.  Slice and enjoy!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Rustic Tomato & Mozzarella Tart

Rustic Tomato & Mozzarella Tart

I realize that this picture may give the impression that this is just another pizza-it isn't!  The puff pastry dough and garlic butter sauce create a new league for the tomato and mozzarella family.

I had tomatoes on the vine and since it was 103 degrees out today I wanted something that would taste yummy, fresh and light.

I began by making a puff pastry dough.  This dough is surprisingly easy to make.  In a food processor, combine 1 3/4 c flour, 1 tsp sugar and a dash of salt.  After those ingredients have been combined, add 1/2 c of butter that has been cut into small pieces.  Sprinkle the butter and 3 tbsp of oil into the processor.  Continue to blend and add 3 tbsp of ice water, pulsing the processor until the dough comes together in the squeeze of your hand.  If you don't have a food processor, a blender will also work. Turn the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and top with another sheet of plastic wrap.  Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out.  Place the dough in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes until it has become chilled and slightly firm.

While the dough is hardening, wash 3 tomatoes.

Slice the tomatoes ...

... and place them on a paper towel to drain.  Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, melt 1 tbsp butter and stir in 1 tsp of minced garlic to create a garlic butter sauce.

At this time, your dough should be ready.  Prepare a baking sheet and place the dough on the oiled pan.  Brush the dough with the garlic butter.

Sprinkle 1 c mozzarella cheese on top of the garlic butter.

Evenly place the tomatoes over the cheese and then sprinkle parmesan over your tomatoes.

Bake until the puff pastry is golden- about 30 minutes.  Sprinkle with basil and serve right away!

Sides for Summer Dinners-Baked Beans, Roasted Red Potatoes & Grilled Vegetables

 Baked Beans, Roasted Red Potatoes & Grilled Vegetables


Baked Beans are a staple to Summer.  I grew up on this recipe and it is my go to, tried and true side dish for any BBQ.  

The best part of these baked beans are how easy they are- add the following to your crock pot and let it cook on low for the entire afternoon or as little as 2-3 hours on high.

First, add baked beans- I add 3, 15 oz cans.

Continue adding the ingredients to your crock pot - 3/4 c sugar, 1 tbsp minced onions, 1 tbsp chili powder, 2 tbsp garlic, 1 tbsp mustard, 3/4 c BBQ sauce, 1/4 c ketchup, 1/4 c molasses, 1/4 c honey and finish by adding 1 tbsp of liquid smoke.

If you have never cooked with liquid smoke- start!  It is amazing.  It adds the smoky BBQ taste to your food, without actually having to BBQ-SO good!!

Jeremy prefers everything SUPER spicy so at this point I typically sprinkle some red pepper flakes to kick it up a notch.

Stir all together and cover to let cook.

You will LOVE the flavor and spice to these.  If you are looking for a thicker baked bean you can also prepare these and place in the oven instead of the crock pot at 350 degrees for 2-3 hours too.


A nice substitute to mashed or baked potatoes are roasted red potatoes.  

I washed the potatoes and diced them-setting them aside.  
In a bowl I combined 1/2 c olive oil, 1/2 c balsamic vinegar, 1 1/2 tbsp rosemary, 1 tbsp thyme, a few dashes of red pepper flakes, 1/2 c grilled onions and 1 heaping tbsp of fresh minced garlic.
Mix the marinade together and stir in the potatoes until they are well incorporated.  

If you are serving later, cover and refrigerate.  If you are cooking immediately, preheat your oven to 450 degrees and place evening on a baking sheet.  Drizzle remaining marinade over the potatoes and bake for 20-30 minutes.  


 Another SUPER easy side to summer dinners and BBQ are fresh vegetables.  They are vibrant in color and flavor.  Place directly on your grill or stove top with a bit of olive oil and seasonings to your preference.  You can also place your vegetables in foil for a better steaming effect if you prefer.  Great marinade and spice options are pepper, garlic, lemon pepper, paprika, and chili pepper.  If you prefer a sweeter taste- brown sugar and molasses are awesome too!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Raspberry Cobbler

I love fresh fruit.  Now that it is summer, I enjoy the vibrant colors and refreshing tastes.  On my last shopping trip, I filled my cart with a TON of fruits and vegetables- one of which was raspberries.  This morning our whole family was home- it was Daddy's day off of work, so I thought it would be a nice treat to try a cobbler for breakfast and save the leftovers for a late summer evening dessert!

I began by washing my raspberries-  I used about 4 cups.

Once clean, I placed them into a saucepan and began cooking them on medium heat.

I immediately added more ingredients to the pan- 1 c sugar, 4 tbsp flour, 2 tbsp lemon juice and 3 tsp cinnamon.  Continually stir to keep the berries from burning.

Because the raspberries are tart, I added 1/2 c packed brown sugar and a few dashes of nutmeg and cloves to add a sweeter taste. 

Stir together and lower the heat to low-med and allow the sauce to begin to boil.

Pour the berry mixture into a 4 quart dish or like I did, two 2 quart dishes.

At this time we make our cobbler crust.  In a bowl, combine 2 c flour, 1/2 c sugar and 2 tsp baking powder.  Using a pastry blender, cut in 1/2 c butter (butter should already be cut into small pieces).  Once the butter is cut into the flour mixture, add 2/3 c heavy whipping cream and stir until a stiff dough forms.  

Turn the dough onto a floured surface and form into a ball.

To kick up the flavor of our cobbler crust, I mixed together in a small bowl- 1 c brown sugar, 1 c oats and 2 tsp of cloves. 

It is now time to top our berries.  Tear pieces of the dough apart and place on top of the berry mixture, placing evening throughout.  

Now sprinkle the brown sugar and oats on top of the dough.

Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes, until the topping is golden and the berries are bubbling.

My Braydon was eager to watch it bake!

Let it cool to room temperature and serve.

Enjoy your comfort food!

I had to share this picture- while I was serving our breakfast, Cole was watching a cooking show- gotta love his interest and passion for food at such a young age!